It's finally done. It's in the can. It's completely finished.
"Will Ferrell's career" you ask? No, we wish. Rather, I speak of the Graphic Novel that I've been working on with writer Dave Rodriguez for (off and on) 2-1/2 years!
This hardback edition from Archaia will contain 138 pages of story, four covers, a complete original prose story by Piers Anthony, and lots of contemporary fantasy fun! It compiles Starkweather: Immortal issues 0 - 2, and the unpublished issues 3 and 4 (with the fourth part coming in at 35 pages alone!)
Here's a first look at the wraparound cover for the book:
The logo, "trade dress" etc. goes on the right side, and the left side is the back cover, where Dave will no doubt write some gloriously wonderful prose to sell the book to prospective buyers. Such as you!!
We hope that the book will be published and ready for the San Diego Comic-Con in July. We were hoping to have it out in time for Wonder*Con in San Francisco (in April) but unfortunately our fine publisher Archaia didn't have a place for us on the schedule for then. So July it is. I think it will be worth the wait.
And we've already waited a long time as it is! After a good start with the zero issue (based on a story written for us by Fantasy great Piers Anthony) and then two main issues, we sort of hit some snags. Archaia Studios Press had some ownership shakeups, and took a year off from publishing, to re-emerge last year as simply "Archaia". In the meantime I personally had some ongoing money problems which greatly curtailed the time I could spend on what is basically an unpaid labor of love.
However, during that extra time Dave was continually thinking about, and improving the script. After a few plot sessions we actually ended up with a very different animal than we'd started with, and Dave re-scripted much of chapter 4 and added some pages to chapter 3... Which gave me a lot of extra work, but I think you'll find it was well worth it.
Also - of interest to those of you who have already read issue Zero (the story of Cartaphilus, immortal Roman bastard), Dave went back and extensively tweaked the script, so the version in this volume will read (I think you'll agree) MUCH better than the original. We're still using Piers Anthony's story, but now I think the dialog works better for the comics page, thanks to Dave's expert massaging.
[Quick aside - you will probably love Dave's web comic Shadowgirls, with art by Dave Reynolds. I know I do! www.shadowgirlscomic.com]
MY BIG PLAN
So right here, on this very blog, I plan to do a series of behind-the-scenes process posts. Showing sketches, drawings, render process, 3D models (I used a few for recurring sets!) and hopefully some interesting thoughts about the series in general.
As a start, here's a previously-unpublished page from the fourth chapter. No big spoilers on this page, I think (and I won't be including any word balloons anyway on these previews) but I think it's a fun one. Definitely one of my favorite pages from the chapter.
OK, more to come soon, including some steps through my work process for panels. Hope to see you here. Please leave a message if you like reading about this.